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U.S. imposes mandatory air cargo screening

WASHINGTON, DC: January 22, 2018. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued an emergency order requiring airlines flying to the U.S. from airport hubs in Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE comply with Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) protocols.

According to reports, TSA Administrator David Pekoske has informed EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Qatar Airways, Saudia, Emirates airline and Etihad Airways they must provide U.S. Customs and Border Protrection (CPB)  the full description of a shipment's content, consignor and consignee data, as well as origin and final destination details, prior to loading on a passenger or freighter aircraft.

Emirates SkyCargo Cool DolliesThe order enables the TSA and the CPB to require a secondary inspection of a particular shipment prior to flight departure. The five countries join Turkey in the mandatory application of ACAS.

"In close coordination with CBP, I directed specific carriers to implement strict security requirements based upon recent information that established a need to implement additional security measures for air cargo bound to the United States, on both passenger and cargo aircraft," Pekoske is reported as saying.

Earlier this month Emirates Group Security and the Etihad Aviation Group signed an MoU for the sharing of security-related information and intelligence both within and outside the UAE.

Commenting on the agreement, Etihad Aviation Group vice chairman Hamad Abdulla Al Shamsi said: "Security is our utmost priority and given the current sensitive climate we operate in, it should never be underestimated. The signing of an MoU between the two largest aviation groups in the country will have a positive impact on local and international operations by significantly enhancing aviation security measures."

Coincident with the implementation of the ACAS protocols from Dubai, Emirates SkyCargo has introduced secure "pharma corridors" covering an initial 12 destinations on its network: Amsterdam, Brussels, Bengaluru, Cairo, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Milan, Rome, Shanghai and Singapore.

Emirates divisional senior vice president Cargo Nabil Sultan said: "We realized that it was essential to work with our partners on the ground at the various stations in order to ensure that pharmaceutical cargo travels under the best conditions from the point the cargo gets dropped off at the origin airport until it is collected at the destination airport. We are also actively exploring the roll out of dedicated pharma flights across our network," he added.

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